it·​er·​a·​tive | \ ˈi-tə-ˌrā-tiv How to pronounce iterative (audio) , -rə- How to pronounce iterative (audio) \

Definition of iterative

: involving repetition: such as
a : expressing repetition of a verbal action
b : utilizing the repetition of a sequence of operations or procedures iterative programming methods

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from iterative

iteratively adverb

Examples of iterative in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Editor’s note: Because online services are often iterative, gaining new features and performance improvements over time, this review is subject to change in order to accurately reflect the current state of the service. Ian Paul, PCWorld, "Mullvad 2018 review: A fantastic VPN has a great new look," 17 Oct. 2018 By testing data loops back into the design process, AI speeds up iterative improvements beyond anything experienced in manufacturing earlier. Pam Baker, Ars Technica, "Artificial Intelligence and the coming of the self-designing machine," 6 Dec. 2018 Today, the company announced the Mavic 2, a true successor to the Mavic Pro, which has only seen iterative updates since its 2016 unveiling. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "The Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom are on sale today," 23 Aug. 2018 But for an automaker taking an iterative approach to self-driving—gradually implementing more capable systems, model year by model year—getting familiar with advanced tech like deep learning is an important step forward. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Land Rover Wants to Take Self-Driving Cars Off-Roading," 9 June 2018 The same was true for the very first MacBook Air, but the MacBook hasn’t seen the same iterative progress that was applied to the Air. Dieter Bohn, The Verge, "The stakes for the new MacBook are much higher than for the iPad," 30 Oct. 2018 Directed evolution is an iterative process scientists use to design biological molecules like enzymes. Umair Irfan, Vox, "3 scientists sped up evolution in a lab. Their work just won a Nobel Prize.," 3 Oct. 2018 Creating and performing each track in a recording in Logic is a slow, iterative process—as is almost always the case in producing electronic music. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "ROLI Songmaker Kit mini-review: Rediscovering my musical roots with fancy new tech," 19 Aug. 2018 The iterative approach proposed by Martin may be the only approach since an overall plan leaves too many options for rejection. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "Houthis explain 'Death to America' slogan, reveal what will bring them to peace talks," 6 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'iterative.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of iterative

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about iterative

Dictionary Entries near iterative


iterated integral




it figures


Statistics for iterative

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for iterative

The first known use of iterative was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

More from Merriam-Webster on iterative

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with iterative

Britannica English: Translation of iterative for Arabic Speakers

Comments on iterative

What made you want to look up iterative? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


providing supplementary assistance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!